Open Thead: Facts Are Stubborn Things

(1 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Rachel Maddow spoke about correcting errors, “Department of Corrections”. She also spoke about “facts”, not necessarily liking them because they make us uncomfortable and being factual, debunking news that is widely believed as true. More importantly, Rachel discussed being magnanimous enough to correct a mistake, because “it’s a responsible and useful thing to do.”

Facts are Stubborn Things

Rachel Maddow discusses the shows policy of correcting its errors and demonstrates why she is owed one by

It is a neat idea to be able to call balls and strikes in facts and news, to fact check things you hear in the news and fact-check things you hear politicians and political figures say.  People do get stuff wrong and it should be pointed out.  When I confused the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in terms of which one had a preamble, you may recall that I not only apologized for that.  I sung and danced my apology to that.

When you get something wrong, it is both good practice and I find satisfying to own up to it.  Say you got it wrong, learn something about it, and move on.  But that should apply to everybody. . . . . .

Calling somebody a liar when they are not lying is not the same as fact-checking.  That is just bullpuckey, too.

Entire transcript can be read at the her blog. It was the last segment from February 24.



    • TMC on March 2, 2011 at 9:31 pm
    • banger on March 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    …that there are different kinds of truths. I like facts but I also know that “facts” are at leas, in part, fictional. To be precise they are part of a narrative that, at least, have the quality of interchange with the natural world, such as it is. Take any fact and you’ll see we just see a tiny part of its reality so I’m not necessarily that fond of them.

    It is a fact (i.e., it is part of our narrative arrangements) that there are many kinds of truths and intelligences. Why do people respond to Sarah Palin? She is deliberately avoiding intellectual facts in favor of emotional facts–aren’t those facts important. The fact that the right has taken over the main cultural dynamic is important to understand–it is because they studiously avoid the sort of facts we believe in and substitute emotional resonance–the fact is that people respond to emotional resonance not “facts” as we see them. And we (on the left) studiously ignore emotional resonance in favor of dry facts. A dry fact is useless and must, from my pov, be married to emotional facts, i.e., what actually motivates people–without that there is no juice and it’s just pure power-politics that rules. George Lakoff has tried and mainly failed to educate the left on this matter.

    Not to diminish Maddow, but her genius is to be able to appear to be only interested in the facts while passing off canards promulgated by the MSM–if she did not then she would be out. I don’t hold that against her, btw, we all do what we have to do. I personally don’t like her show but I’m glad she’s doing what she does.

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